Aspects of Jaspers' Philosophy [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 25 (3):560-561 (1972)
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This is the second edition of a somewhat unusual account of the philosophy of Jaspers. The "Introduction" contains an historical survey of Existentialism which is rather out of date. It associates Heidegger and Sartre together, and as philosophers of the absurd--a mistake for which by now there is no excuse. It sees a "way out of this barren desert" of the philosophy of absurdity in Jaspers--which is a misleadingly religious way to introduce Jaspers. The body of the work contains chapters on the foundations of Jaspers' thought in Kant, on the concept of philosophical faith, a comparison of Jaspers with some contemporaries, such as Whitehead, and a final comparison of Jaspers' "ciphers" with Maimonides' negative theology. The 79-page long text is heavily punctuated with citations and so does not make for smooth reading. This is followed by nearly half that many pages of notes, some of which are rather interesting and which provide the whole with extensive documentation.--J. D. C.



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